« Agapios Monachos Agatha, Saint Agathists »

Agatha, Saint

AGATHA, ag´ɑ-thɑ, SAINT: Virgin and martyr in the Roman Catholic calendar. The accounts of her given in the Latin and Greek Acta (ASB, Feb., i. 595-656) are so largely made up of legendary and poetical matter that it is impossible to extract solid historical facts from them. The fact of her martyrdom is, however, attested by her inclusion in the Carthaginian calendar of the fifth or sixth century and in the so-called Martyrologium Heroinymianum; and she is mentioned also by Damasus, bishop of Rome from 366 to 384 (Carmen, 30). There seems no reason to doubt that she suffered at Catania on Feb. 5; but the year of her death can not be determined. She is venerated particularly in southern Italy and in Sicily, where, in many places, she is invoked as a protectress against eruptions of Mount Etna. The cities of Palermo and Catania still contend for the honor of being her birthplace.

(A. Hauck.)

« Agapios Monachos Agatha, Saint Agathists »
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